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Fight Over ACA Replacement Not Over

Opposition to the GOP's plan to replace the Affordable Care Act is growing, after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found the legislation would cause 24 million Americans to lose coverage. (Tom Hilton/Wikimedia Commons)
Opposition to the GOP's plan to replace the Affordable Care Act is growing, after the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found the legislation would cause 24 million Americans to lose coverage. (Tom Hilton/Wikimedia Commons)
March 16, 2017

DENVER – The struggle over efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act isn't over.

Health groups oppose the Republicans’ replacement plan, which according to Congressional Budget Office estimates would cause 24 million people to lose coverage.

And on Wednesday, a coalition, including some 600 church members representing 14 western states, gathered in Denver to urge elected officials to vote against the bill.

Adam Fox, director of strategic engagement for the advocacy group Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, says the proposed $880 billion in cuts to Medicaid could mean the loss of long-term care for seniors and people with disabilities, and working families would also take a hit.

"We know that over 80 percent of the Coloradans that are covered under the Affordable Care Act have at least a part-time job,” he points out. “This would really take away coverage from hard working Coloradans, if the repeal bill goes through."

The CBO report found the proposal also would increase the cost of insurance by 15 to 20 percent.

House Speaker Paul Ryan maintains the measure will ultimately reduce premiums, improve access to quality care and lower the federal deficit.

Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado (R-Colorado Springs) questions the CBO's findings, according to The Colorado Independent. He notes that the agency underestimated the number of people to gain coverage under the ACA.

But Rep. Diana DeGette of Colorado (D-Denver) says a better solution would be to find bipartisan solutions to improve the ACA.

Fox notes consumers still have time to make their voices heard, as the House could vote on the measure as early as next week.

"It's important to communicate with their members of Congress,” he stresses. “Share your own personal story. Usually those are the most effective in giving some context to what having health insurance and having health coverage – and access to care – really means."

President Donald Trump and Republican congressional leaders back the proposed new health care law, but conservative stalwarts such as the Heritage Foundation's lobbying arm and the American Enterprise Institute oppose the plan.

The American Medical Association, the American Hospital Association and other health groups also have come out against the bill.


Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO